balancing act

So I mentioned a couple posts back that I was really struggling to find balance in my life. I started this year with a few goals. One of them was that I was going to break free from running. Running and only running had tied me down and pinned me in. I had a big running resolution in 2014 that I couldn’t meet for many reasons (including weeks and months where no motivation was present) but a major one that derailed me more than once was injury. My knees are horrible to begin with but something happened to my foot in November that quickly ended my running for most of the remainder of the year.

I still run but I also decided to try new things. Yoga. Pilates. Zumba. Cycling. Water Fitness. Interval Training. Turbo Kick.  And I have tried all these new things except for Turbo Kick because frankly I’m scared to death. But I will. Eventually. I have learned that exercise SHOULD be fun. It should be something to look forward to and not dread, as I felt many times before. Something that I can’t miss, not something that I can be easily talked out of doing.

Good news: All of these classes are offered for free at the YMCA. Bad news: Class times that I am able to make are at the worst times. There’s childcare available, but my kids have gone from tolerating it to hating it. {The last time I took them, Theo said it smelled like a huge poopy diaper in there and he was never going back. True, it did smell like a huge poopy diaper when I picked them up.} Now that Theo’s 5, he would go to the next age group which would mean Dexter would be left all alone in the stinky baby room. I can’t do that to them. So, I can only go when Ryan is home. Which means a few things: 1. Ryan and I can never exercise together. 2. Every time I go to a class, I am missing out on family time. 3. The more time I spend away from home at the gym, the less convenient it is for Ryan to also get a workout in.

It sucks. Number 2 is the big doozy for me. I would love to work out with Ryan but the main reason I’ve been struggling with balance lately is because I LOVE my classes. I love going to the gym. I look forward to the physical strength I feel and challenging myself through difficult moves. Depending on the day, I might see my kids for 2-4 hours on a weeknight. They are still asleep when I leave the 2 mornings that Ryan takes them to school. To be gone for an hour and a half or more on a day when I barely see them to begin with flat out sucks. Ryan is doing the majority of the care for the children on these days, such as bathing and putting them to bed, but he’s also playing games and reading them bedtime stories while I’m away. One night last week I put on my pajamas before I cooked dinner and Theo practically shouted with glee, “Mommy! You’re not going to exercise tonight!?” When I told him I was staying home, he jumped up and down and ran and told his brother that mommy wasn’t going anywhere.


I have been feeling that way too – guilty – but hearing him say it just made me want to puke. I feel like I’ve been selfish, but have I really? I found workouts that I LOVE and look forward to. I feel strong. I don’t want to stop going to my classes. In fact, I wish I could go to more but that’s not realistic or fair to my family. I wish I could find more time in the day. I have been feeling a little bit better about it this week because I have been making a conscious effort to spend more quality time with the boys while we’re together. I included them in my many chores over the weekend and they actually helped. We played together and we worked together. I took the time to sit on the couch and watch a whole movie with them instead of taking advantage of the opportunity to get things done while they were distracted. Dexter sat on my lap and Theo laid his head on my arm. I have been missing out on something that I didn’t even know I was missing. Not only because I’m gone too much but because it’s right there and I haven’t been making it a priority.

I can justify 2 weeknights at the gym (2 nights that I don’t put my kids to bed or spend quality time with them) for the betterment of myself and indirectly, my family. But what if I want to take a 3rd class? Or a friend asks me to dinner one week and a different set of girls are getting together 2 weeks later. Then there’s a team dinner or a fundraiser the next 2 weeks. Then a haircut appointment the following week that’s going to take 2 hours. All of the sudden, I’m very overwhelmed. If I don’t give up my 2 weeknight workouts, I’ll end up being gone 3-4 nights a week every week. It’s just way too much. Time is flying and I don’t want to regret being gone more than I was home when I look back one day. I guess I’m struggling the most with not wanting to miss out on time with my family but not giving up everything else that I enjoy. I don’t want to lose out on friendships because I always say “no,” but I know I can’t say “yes” every time either.

So what I really need is to add about 6 hours to every weekday – I guess I could give up sleep but I’m not sure my friends or kids would want to hang out at 3am. The gym isn’t open and neither is my work. I know it’s a good problem to have, if there is such a thing. It’s great that I have friends and family and my health. Quitting my job is not an option. So how can I have it all without sacrificing myself? Is that even a thing?  I will keep trying to make more of an effort to be present, and really present, when I am home with my guys. I will say no sometimes. But not every time. And I will probably keep feeling guilty for not being at any one place as often as I wish.



catch the moment: week 9

This week’s theme or challenge for Catch the Moment 365 was to capture “a day in the life.” I decided to document our day on Sunday. You can see it HERE.  Linking up with Mindi at Stavish Stills Photography, Carrie at My Life, Our Journey, and Stephanie at Behind the Camera and Dreaming.  It’s never to late to join in or start your own 365.

057/365: Thursday, February 26th. This kid. This face. This is what he does now when I want to take his picture. I’ll say “no, Dexter. Smile.” And he’ll say “this is how I smile now.” UGH! And he’s not even a teenager. 02-26-2015

058/365: Friday, February 27th. I visited my friend Whitney and fell in love with her key wall. How come everyone else’s everything is cuter than all my everythings? I NEED A KEY WALL.02-27-2015

059/365: Saturday, February 28th. Goodbye to the last full month of winter and good riddance to you! Winter had been great until cold, snowy February showed up and we’re hoping the worst is over. Theo was just enjoying a little orange juice and PB cracker snack. This brown-eyed boy is about to be 5. I mean, I know how. But HOW??02-28-2015060/365: Sunday, March 1st. Hello March and hello to waking up to 8 new inches of snow. Ugh. We didn’t go anywhere Sunday but we caught up on playing games, cleaning, reading, cooking, eating, and all sorts of other cozy things. Dexter, AKA Mr. Cooperative, when I said “Dexter, show me your blue eyes.”03-01-2015

061/365: Monday, March 2nd. Theo is never far from the Lego collection that takes up a fourth of our living room. Not for very long anyway. 03-02-2015

062/365: Tuesday, March 3rd. And people wonder why I hate winter and snow so much. It looks pretty for a day and then it sits EVERYWHERE, looking like this until it’s finally warm enough to melt away.03-03-2015

063/365: Wednesday, March 4th. A little post-grocery-shopping trip reward for being so helpful at the store!03-04-2015That’s our week in a nutshell. I have been practicing yoga – trying to do a supported headstand without the wall and still going to group exercise classes a few days a week. I’m really enjoying the variety versus just running which was my go-to for the past 2 years. I feel like I am getting stronger and leaner, but I’m not really losing any weight to speak of. I’m okay with that.

Anyway, which photo is your favorite this week? I like the colors (and organization) in day 61’s photo. I also like Dexter’s silly face on day 60. His little baby teeth are so pretty and white!





2015 Resolutions

I am a little late getting this post published … what’s new? I feel like I am rushing most of the time these days. Christmas was a rush. The weeks since Thanksgiving have zoomed by and here we are, already well into January 2015. As I reflected on my progress last year, I realized that I still want to work on the same things – being a better mom, taking care of myself (so I can continue trying to be a better mom), and partaking in something I enjoy – something for me that benefits my family too.

1. I want to connect with my kids instead of yelling at them when we are all experiencing heightened stress and emotions. They are truly the biggest blessings in my life and I care about my family more than anything. It’s not fair to them that I take my own exhaustion, frustration, and every other negative feeling out on them when they dare act their age. Sometimes it seems there’s no alternative to losing my cool, but there’s always an alternative. I’m going to read Yell Less Love More and implement pieces of it daily.

love more yell less2. I want to lose those pesky few pounds (again) but more importantly, maintain a consistent level of activity so that I can not only look better, but feel better and have more energy. So I can be a role model for my children. This year I want to go beyond running. Running isn’t easy, but it’s not hard. It’s hard to mess up or to feel like a fool when you are running. Running is my comfort zone. But my fitness goals got derailed several times last year because I only wanted to run. And running hurts me. When something hurts, running is too painful and those injuries tend to take a long time to heal. This body was not born to run and while I don’t have any plans of stopping altogether, I need to branch out. I need to feel like a fool. I need to not care so much and just try something new. Yoga. Piyo. Zumba. This year I will try new things and I will get & stay in shape.

3. Finally, I want to improve my photography skills and courage. I am so timid and insecure when it comes to taking pictures of anyone but my family of 4. Or asking anyone to take a picture of me with my kids. I’m hesitant to take pictures of us when we’re in a place where I feel people looking at me because I’m taking pictures. I need to get over all of it. I want to get better. I want to be faster adjusting my manual settings. I want to learn … to take a class. Get a new lens. Practice taking pictures of all sorts of different things. Take pictures every day (do another 365). I want to put new pictures in frames to display around my home. I want to create 2 photo books – one from my 2014 Project 365 and one from our beach vacation in October. If I get really, really ambitious, I might create Dexter’s 1st Year baby book….whoopsy.

So there you have it. And yes…sure, there are other things I’d like to do this year but these 3 are still the biggies so these 3 will be the ones I focus on month in and month out. Somewhere in there I’d like to improve our budgeting. Our home improvement projects need to get done. I’d like to meal-plan ahead of time and shop on a budget instead of flying into the grocery at 9pm on Sunday night, wildly throwing random items in the cart that I might combine in some way to create a decent meal. But will I be planning all meals by the end of 2015? Will our home be “done” at the end of 2015? Will we be out of debt by the end of 2015? No way. I will try to be a better friend and wife this year…a better daughter and sister and aunt and mom and co-worker. And cat-owner. God, my cats must hate me. Yeah…I guess I’ve got a lot of work to do in 2015. But those are pretty hard to measure. What about you? Do you have measurable goals going into this new year?